Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Green Smoothie Revolution
When I first added green smoothies to my family's diet, we were already living an extremely healthy life. I wasn't sure if the addition of blended fruits and veggies that we were already eating was going to have a major impact on our health, if any impact at all. I was already eating most of these things in my daily salad, so how could this be any different? Well, first it enabled me to eat a wider variety of vegetables than I had previously been eating. Kale and wheatgrass did not make their way into our salads too often. And this was great because it meant that my son whose veggie intake consisted of broccoli, pickles, and an occasional avocado was now consuming all these wonderful leafy greens and sprouts that he wouldn't have otherwise. He may prefer brown rice cakes to Goldfish crackers, but his veggie intake left much to be desired, as is the case with many two year olds.
Second, and here's the real kicker, blending the vegetables and fruit allows your body to extract the maximum amount of nutrients out of the food. When we eat solid food, a large portion does not get fully digested due in part to the fact that we eat too fast and don't chew enough. Every glance down in the porcelain princess to see a whole piece of lettuce floating around? So although that salad you had at lunch was a great option, your body did not fully extract all the nutrients those veggies had to offer. Blending, especially with a high powered blender such as Vita-mix actually breaks down the cell wall of the food allowing for maximum absorption. And, in contrast to juicing, when you blend, the pulp does not get left behind and this is where most of the fiber resides. I am here to tell you that by starting your day with a green smoothie you will enjoy increased energy levels, improved skin and hair, better digestion ( better be prepared for this one- especially early on!), and you may finally be able to achieve your ideal weight. I was amazed at how my energy levels soared from these little green glasses of goodness.
The more whole, raw foods we incorporate into our diets, the better our body functions. This was the way we were intended to eat. Long before fast food joints crowded our streets, and before food had an indefinite shelf life there was pure, raw, LIVE food. The food that fueled us, nourished us, sustained us. We have become so far removed from food in its natural state that the notion of eating and living off the land seems ludicrous to some. Our society has become accustomed to food in a box, stripped of all nutrients, preservative filled, dye colored garbage. My personal goal for my family and I is to eat food that my great grandmother would recognize. To get back to the way we ate thousands of years ago,consuming the life sustaining food nature has provided for us- the way it was intended.
We all want to look and feel better. We desire more energy, less disease, more confidence. We want these things, but many of us don't know how to attain them. I can honestly say that all these things and more are not only within your reach, but they are much easier to accomplish than you think. It starts with simple changes. Small steps for a better YOU. A green smoothie to start your day. Life is nothing but a series of choices. We are faced with endless decisions in our lives and each one ultimately determines and shapes our life's path. It can be overwhelming to wrap your head around all the choices you will be faced with over your lifetime. The key to being successful at changing your lifestyle is to take it one tiny choice at a time. Just get through today. Make a choice to start each day the best way you possibly can. The best thing about green smoothies is they are easy, unbelievably healthy, and the variations are virtually endless. You can tailor them to your specific taste and reap all the benefits along the way. It may sound silly, but adding green smoothies to your diet can change your life. Perhaps not all on their own, but once you start your day with a fresh, raw, nourishing smoothie, you will notice the difference in the way you feel. Your cravings for junk will start to diminish which will propel you down the path of total health and well-being.
I believe that negativity breeds more negativity. That making bad choices leads to more bad choices. Eating is the same way. If you start the day with a doughnut, you're not likely to have a salad and salmon for lunch. If you drink soda all the time, water doesn't quite do it for you. Starting each day with a green smoothie sets the tone for the rest of your day, for tomorrow, for the rest of your life. It's the little things that add up to a grand total. So whether you're someone just starting their journey to a more healthy existence, or a seasoned health nut looking to incorporate more raw food into your diet- it doesn't get better or easier than green smoothies.
There are no rules when it comes to making green smoothies. Basically, you can take any fruit and combine it with tons of different greens to find a flavor and consistency that appeals to you. No matter how good green smoothies are for you, not too many people would drink them everyday if they didn't taste good. I know for a fact that my two year old son would never drink them if they weren't delicious, and he not only drinks them, he always asks for more!! When I first began I wondered how spinach and kale blended with pears and strawberries could taste good. The truth is- you can barely even taste the greens. If it is too bitter for your taste- just add more fruit. I like to change the greens we use in our smoothies every couple of days. Spinach, kale, wheatgrass, and mixed lettuces are our go-to greens, but lately I've been experimenting with sprouts. I hope you will find some recipes here that help you on your way to making green smoothies a part of your daily routine. And remember, the only rule when making smoothies is- there are no rules!! Green smoothies feed the soul and heal the body so blend, enjoy, and bask in their glory...